Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hairy Questions

As y'all may surmise when you see pictures of Bean, we get a lot of comments and questions about her wild blonde curly locks when we're out and about - particularly when it's just the two of us. In fact, if I had a dime for every time someone's commented on Bean's hair in the past three years, I'd have Harvard or Yale paid for by now.

Possibly even a post-grad degree or two.

Yesterday we ran out to the grocery store To Pick Up a Few Things, and The Hair stole the show as usual.

At the photography counter. (Behind/under which are hidden the memory cards for digital cameras. Which makes my method of locating the kind I need - the well-um-NO-I-don't-have-any-idea-what-KIND-it-takes, I'll-just-know-it-when-I-see-it method - impossible to perpetrate without involving and spending an afternoon with a helpful salesperson.)

Salesperson to Bean: Where did you get all that beautiful curly hair?

Bean: I got it from my beautiful Mama's hay-yer!

Salesperson looks directly at my head with bold-faced, 72 pt. Helvetica question mark affixed to her forehead.

NOT! she clearly posits to herself.

Me: She got it from her Daddy. He has very curly hair.

Salesperson: Oh! Well, it MUST BE!

She drags an armload of various memory cards up to the countertop and I dig through them and finally locate the-one-that-looks-like-a-tiny-rectangular-slice-of-cheese-with-a-little-bite-taken-out-of-the-corner and the salesperson begins to ring it up for me. The whole while, the salesperson continues to examine Bean's hair.

Salesperson: Sooooooo... what um... Nationality... is her father?

Me: Oh. He's just a plain old American black guy.

Minutes later, at the FOOD check-out counter:

Salesperson to Bean: MY, you certainly have a lot of pretty curls!

Bean: Thank you.

Packaging Technician at End of Belt, looking directly at my head: Did YOU have pretty hair when you were... younger?

Me: Blink.


  1. She does have gorgeous hair and I've experienced these kinds of situations when we've been out together. Do you ever get tired of it? I just love seeing all her different styles and bows. My favorite is morning hair--followed by fresh out of the tub.

  2. Her hair is gorgeous . . . but I think I'd definitely get tired of the questions. Ya know . . . Target has one of those shirts that say, "I get my good looks from my Dad!" or how 'bout, "Daddy does my hair!" Ok -- maybe not such a great idea after all!

  3. "Why yes, I was black as a child but then I just grew out of it."


    This cracked me up.

  4. Amen, sister! Everyone LOVES toddlers with curly hair, and has to say something about it. I've had some of these exact same conversations, and Princess's curls aren't as tight as Bean's.
    And if Honey is with us the conversations are even more amusing. He keeps his curly hair cut short enough that you can't tell it is curly. So people look at Princess, comment about those beautiful curls, stand back to look at her parents. Then I hear either,
    "I bet your mommy had curly hair as a little girl" or "If you're lucky maybe you'll get to keep those curls as you get older."
    It's really funny watching their faces as Honey points out that she got the curls from him, a white Russian guy!

  5. Whatever happened to "Have a Nice Day?"

  6. Ya know ... it's one thing to comment on her gorgeous hair and it's another thing entirely to but noses into the business of another person.

    People are just rude and impolite.

    I love how she says, "Thank You!" when people comment on it. :)

    She is darling and I hope she had a wonderful birthday!

  7. Jeana - Hee hee. Wish I had the nerve for something like that! I just said, "No, not really... not any prettier than it is now."

  8. oh geez! She DOES have absolutely AWESOME hair! I love love LOVE it! (and I would love playing with it as a momma!). My Hubs was asked at work the other day if we had adopted our son(who was quite dark when he was born) and which country he came from. Poor Hubs looked at them and said "Uh...I'm pretty sure he's our kid". hee hee! I would have loved to have watched this conversation!

  9. She is a cutie and definitely does have gorgeous hair. People can just be so bizarrely rude, can't they?
    My girls look noooothing like me - not a bit, unless you look closely. I have dark straight hair and eyes, and they have blond curly hair and green eyes and I frequently get asked if I'm the babysiter. Noooooo.....

  10. My baby girl has very curly, spiraly hair and we ALWAYS get comments and questions about the origins of it. Neither my husband nor I have curly hair and we have no clue where she got it...doesn't really matter. But often I am so tempted to say something smart-alecky, but I'm afraid I just don't have the nerve to do it. Sigh.

  11. Hahahah! I'm laughing so hard. Love this - Oh. He's just a plain old American black guy. Snorrrrrrrt.

    I get a lot of comments about my girls' blond hair. And when I say my husband's hair is dark like mine, I always add, But the mailman's a blond! LOL.

  12. I'm sure I've been guilty of saying dumb things like that! You have to admit, Bean's hair just begs for conversation!

  13. Ha! This post cracked me up!

  14. oh no that packaging technician at the end of the belt di-n't!!! "Younger" - he would have gotten a look from me on that!

    Her hair is gorgeous!


  15. You've seen my munchkin...the question I get is "where did he get those beautiful blue eyes and/or blond hair?" I'd really like to say "from me, of course!"

  16. What is wrong with people?? A Target check-out lady told my friend the other day that her 3 month old looked like an elf? She politely smiled. What in the world?!?

  17. Do y'all really think these questions are RUDE? I don't really think of it like that. I think they're funny (and that second one is just SAD!) but not really RUDE. Because I don't think the people are being mean or derogatory (on purpose)... they are just really curious. Have I mentioned that MANY people ask how I "handle" her hair? Like, "Wow, I bet that's hard to comb!" "I bet that's no fun to wash and comb out!" OH! And my favorite of all time. "Is all that curl natural or did you give her a perm?" (Because who would give a 2 year old a perm?)

    Seriously, it's all good. It's just that some of it is really, really funny.

  18. I don't think the people intend to be rude, if that's what you mean. It sounds like she gets a lot of compliments and those are always nice. It also sounds like some of them are being a little nosy about backgrounds and nationality. I imagine it throws them for a loop that she is so fair-skinned but the texture of her hair is more like a black person's. Depending on how far they carry the questioning that has the potential to become, if not rude, definitely nosy.

    It's sort of like all the questions I used to get about having so many young children so close together. It's not that I'm ashamed of it, or even that I mind talking about it, but sometimes it's a little disconcerting when a total stranger starts asking questions about it. Like the man we passed on the sidewalk in the park. He was jogging past me and threw out: "Are all those kids yours?" He didn't even slow down! It just felt like sort of a drive-by interrogation.

    Oh I'm sorry, was this not about me?

    She's a beautiful little girl. I would think most people mean to be complimentary, even if their way of expressing it is rather odd. I'm glad you take is in stride so well.

  19. Y'know, I have a cousin--the son of two ordinary white Anglo-Americans--who has hair just like Bean's! When he was little, people were ALWAYS commenting on it and touching it. (When they did, he would stick out his hand and say, "Five cents, please.") Now, it's a little browner and less blond, and he just keeps it trimmed short--but it will probably always be striking on Bean.


  20. I love her hair! I have 2 kids with red hair. My hair is dark and my husband is blonde. We were always asked where they got their hair from. No one ever asked what nationality though!

  21. That is so funny. I'm amazed at people's curiosity... verbalized!

    I just read the birth story, and I was fascinated! I love a good one. Actually, I love them all! And she was so beautiful... she still is. That little Bean. Aww.

  22. I love her hair too! I can't believe some of the questions you get asked, you are so much more polite than I would be!

  23. It has to be done, Megan...
    "panties, panties, panties..." ;)

    (sorry to all you unwitting participants in the comments section!)

  24. loved your retort about his "nationality"...that is pretty darn funny!

    you are blessed, my dear!

  25. WOW! Ok, wait, that was here, as in Illinois???.
    Oh my, I'm ashamed.
    Argh.... we have a long way to go.
    Bean is SO beautiful and I love, love, love her hair.

  26. Seeing pics of Bean I have wondered if you get questioned alot. She is a beautiful girl with gorgeous hair.
    I love summer in Fl comment, "Daddy does my hair"

  27. People are always good for a laugh, huh?

    By the way, I love the pictures in your post about Bean's birth, you guys look so happy!

  28. Whoa...ouch on the "younger" comment.
    I saw a Bean-hair (weird hyphen word) look alike at the playground the other day. The little girl was there with her Grandma and her name was Camille. But I started thinking to myself, what if I saw the real Bean, and she was with her grandma, and I all felt like I knew her and everything. I probably wouldn't approach, in fear of spooking grandma.

  29. AFter 10-20 times of being asked where my second daughter got her red hair I started replying "The appliance repairman (my husband's profession)" and that usually shut them up with an interesting look on their faces!

  30. ugh...people really suck sometimes. I have the opposite problem. here is my blog about our hair woes...

  31. i think it's (the stranger's asking questions) rude. i get asked, is her daddy black? is yo' baby mix? is yo' baby black or hispanic? usually by some young check out employee.
    i always answer, "my HUSBAND is black, yes." and i have to admit i am usually irritated in my tone. i think it's rude. you don't walk up to people with an ethnic facial FEATURE and say something stupid like, "oh, the hump in your nose, are you middle eastern?" or "wow you really have crooked teeth, are you from england?" or "wow your eyes sure are slanted... " i mean, come on...